Dog bite statistics suggest some breeds bite more frequently than others. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), breeds often cited in the most bites or attacks are the pit bull, German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Jack Russell Terrier, Chow Chow, Spaniel, Collie, Saint Bernard, and Labrador Retriever.
Some researchers suggest that bites by these dogs may not be more frequent, but rather more likely to cause injury or be reported. In any case, victims of dog bites don’t have to prove a dog was of a certain breed to file a claim seeking compensation for their injuries. Our dog bite lawyer can help you prove the owner’s liability under state law.
Studies Analyzing Dog Breeds Most Likely to Bite
Accurate statistics on dog bites are hard to find. An often-cited Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report from the early 2000s suggests there are more than 4.5 million dog bites annually, and about 800,000 require medical attention.
Research from the Ohio Department of Health states that 13,837 dog bites were reported in Ohio in 2021.
Meanwhile, according to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), a study was conducted to determine what breed was responsible for the most bites. Research found that pit bulls took the top of the list, followed by mixed breeds and German Shepherds.
Risk Factors for Dog Bites
Any dog can bite regardless of its breed. Some factors might increase the likelihood of a bite, so it’s important to take measures to prevent bites whenever possible.
Dogs may bite if:
- They feel scared or threatened
- They are protecting their food or a toy
- They are defending their puppies
- They are sick or injured
- They are acting out of defense for their owner
Mistreating a dog may make it more likely to bite a human. Dogs running at large or defending their territory – e.g., their home or yard – may be more likely to bite as well. Male dogs that are not neutered may be more aggressive, and dogs not provided the opportunity to socialize with other dogs or humans may be more likely to bite.
Further, children are often the victims of dog bites, and many are bitten by dogs they know, such as a family dog. Children may be bitten by a dog if they provoke it, even unintentionally, try to take its toy or food, play with it too roughly, or startle the dog.
Preventing Dog Bites
Prevent a dog bite by taking the following precautions. Do not approach, pet, or touch dogs in these circumstances, especially if you do not know the dog:
- Dogs eating or sleeping
- Dogs that are injured or sick
- Dogs running at large
- Dogs caring for puppies
- Dogs playing with a toy
- Dogs acting aggressively, including growing or barking
- Dogs that are hiding, as this might suggest the dog is hurt or scared
Finally, never provoke a dog, reach your hard across a fence in a yard where a dog is present, or trespass into a dog’s home or yard unless invited by the owner.
If you were bitten by a dog, be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Dog bites can cause injuries such as broken bones and nerve damage, or you may need stitches. A doctor can clean your wound to make sure it does not get worse.
Breed does Not Matter in a Dog Bite Case
Regardless of the dog’s breed, victims of bites can pursue compensation for losses associated with their injuries.
In many cases, Ohio holds dog owners strictly liable for a bite, so you may not have to prove the dog owner had prior knowledge of the dog’s aggressive tendencies. You can generally hold the owner liable if you can prove:
- The dog bit you
- You did not provoke the dog
- You did not trespass on the property where the bite occurred
- You suffered injuries and losses because of the dog bite
Victims can pursue compensation for medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and mental anguish associated with the dog bite.
Contact The Fitch Law Firm LLC for Help With Your Dog Bite Case
Learn more about your case by reaching out to our dog bite team at The Fitch Law Firm LLC. We have experience helping clients like you recover compensation. Our team can manage your case by filing a claim or lawsuit on your behalf.
If you or a loved one experienced a dog attack, contact our law firm today for a free consultation. We can answer your case-related questions and provide legal advice.